Mateu Lahoz strikes again

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Mateu Lahoz strikes again

Spanish referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz shows a yellow card to Barcelona head coach Xavi Hernandez during a Spanish La Liga soccer match between Barcelona and Espanyol at Camp Nou in Barcelona on Dec. 31.  [AP/YONHAP]

Spanish referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz shows a yellow card to Barcelona head coach Xavi Hernandez during a Spanish La Liga soccer match between Barcelona and Espanyol at Camp Nou in Barcelona on Dec. 31. [AP/YONHAP]

 
Spanish referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz, who was reportedly sent home from the World Cup after handing out 18 yellow cards during a quarterfinal game between Argentina and the Netherlands, struck again on Saturday, awarding 16 yellow cards during a La Liga game between Barcelona and Espanyol.
 
Barcelona saw yellow seven times during the derby at Camp Nou on Saturday, with Espanyol taking eight. Both sides also had a player sent off and Barcelona manager Xavier Hernández was booked for dissent to complete the 16 yellows.
 
“I said yesterday that Mateu is a referee who usually keeps control of games, but he lost control today,” Xavi said after the game. “That is what I told him at the end. That’s it; for both sides, he did not have control of today’s game.”
 
Those words echoed Lionel Messi's comments after the World Cup clash in December.
 
“I don’t want to speak about the referee, because you cannot say what you think or be honest, as then they punish you with bans for various games,” Messi said. “But FIFA have to think about this. You cannot put a ref like this for a game which is so equal, so important. He is not up to it. Before the game, we were afraid, as we knew what he was like.”
 
Spanish referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz shows a yellow card to Argentina's Lionel Messi during a quarterfinal of the 2022 Qatar World Cup between the Netherlands and Argentina at Lusail Stadium in Doha, on Dec. 9.  [AFP/YONHAP]

Spanish referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz shows a yellow card to Argentina's Lionel Messi during a quarterfinal of the 2022 Qatar World Cup between the Netherlands and Argentina at Lusail Stadium in Doha, on Dec. 9. [AFP/YONHAP]

 

BY JIM BULLEY [jim.bulley@joongang.co.kr]
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